Greece can be two different types of a trip. The first is a beach vacation. Think Santorini, Mikonos, islands, yachting, etc. The second type is historical: Delphi, Marathon, Acropolis, etc. You can do a bit of both, but few people would want to do both fully, and a mix of the two is what I did as well. I went as a part of yacht week, but you can easily go on your own without a guided tour.
Athens (spend 2 days here) –
Athens is a great place to visit. Fun, lots of history, safe, and easy to navigate. That said, you will run out of stuff to do after a couple of days, but those two days will be worthwhile especially with a day trip to Delphi (skip Thermopylae).
Pnyx – This is a really underappreciated area. It is where the first Democracy had public meetings, elections, and decided on all major decisions together–the foundation of Democracy. It is a bit hard to find but definitely worth visiting when you think about where this all led to.
Delphi (A day trip from Athens is perfect)-
Delphi is the seat of cultural and religious power for ancient Greeks. With all of their fighting and bickering, none of them plundered the city for its treasures; if one of them did, not only would everyone else turn on them, but they felt the gods would bring their wrath upon them.
It is also near a skiing town, and so if you go during the summer it is a really nice little town to walk through and go to the shops. Although touristy, it is probably the best place to get souvenirs since few visit in the summer since it is offseason.
Hydra (Spend a day or two, I spent one)-
This is a beautiful town that you can get to via a ferry from Athens. I highly recommend it. Maybe see it, then Mikonos, and Santorini after that. There is a museum that is easy to get to, and an incredible restaurant and view just down the road from the harbor.
Peloponnesus (One long day should cover most of it, depending on if you want to go to Sparta or not)
Corinth – Pretty cool place with a lot of history. Probably the third most famous city behind Athens and Sparta. Greek architecture is not as well preserved as Roman, but it’s still interesting to see. The Corinthian Acropolis is dedicated to Aphrodite and has a beautiful view of the new city below.
Spartan helmet and spear. Shields were incredibly hard to get because Spartans rarely surrendered and when they died they were carried on the shield. The helmet is still pretty amazing though.
View from Aphrodite’s temple, and then the next picture is the view of it. One of the reasons Corinth was so wealthy, in addition to the land canal.
This is the sight of an ancient land-canal where ancient Greeks would skip the dangerous Ionian waters and drag the boats on land in just a few days.
Sparta – Not nearly as exciting as you would think given its role in history. If you’re a history buff you should go, but if not, it probably isn’t worth it.
Temple of Poseidon – If you’re going to be near the Illavrio port you should come see the Temple of Poseidon as well. It’s very cool, a gorgeous view, and not far at all.
Country Difficulty Rating – 2/10